Connect with us

Editorial

Nigeria’s Dangote ends South African PPC tie-up interest

Published

on

JOHANNESBURG – PPC said on Friday that Nigeria’s Dangote Cement had withdrawn its interest in a tie-up with the South African firm, sending its shares more than 13 percent lower.
Africa’s richest person Aliko Dangote joined the race to buy South Africa’s biggest cement producer in September. PPC is already the subject of an all-share merger bid by local rival AfriSam that values it at $700 million.
“Shareholders are advised that, on 5 October 2017, the Board received from Dangote a formal withdrawal of its interest in respect of the Proposed Combination,” PPC said in a statement.
PPC gave no reason for the move and the Nigerian firm was not immediately available for comment.
Shares in PPC fell 13.64 percent, before recovering some ground to trade 4.34 percent lower at 6.17 rand at 1121 GMT. The price was still above AfriSam’s 5.75 rand offer price.
The interest from Dangote Cement, with a market capitalisation of $12 billion, had raised hopes of a bidding war and pushed PPC’s share price above AfriSam’s offer price.
“The general feeling was that Dangote would provide some sort of stability as well as capital going forward,” Independent Securities trader Ryan Woods said.

Source: Nqobile Dludla

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Editorial

Anambra: Motorcycle restriction, not ban

Published

on

Ifeanyi Afuba
Sometime in 1985, I read a short story by the novelist and critic Obii Nwachukwu – Agbada titled Grandfather’s Motorcycle. After much longing, an old man finally bought and was savouring the thrill of owning a bike. Before a company of friends and passers-by, he showed off the beauty of the product. He wheeled the motorcycle around in circles and alighted brimming with satisfaction at the soft drum tones tapped out by its engine. A man touched a gadget here and another felt a component there.
A man in the small crowd smiled at Grandfather. “Let me try it.’ Obliged, the admirer mounted the motorcycle and rode off. He never came back! And riding on Nwachukwu – Agbada’s truth of fiction, we are brought back to the present, where thirty-three years after, the motorcycle is still a major factor in the economy of crime engagement.
In the past four years, the security situation in Anambra State has been very good; witnessing a marked reduction in crime rate and better performance on the part of security agencies in crime fighting. The improved capability of the State’s security machinery has been attributed to the empowerment received from the Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano. Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris is quoted in The Nation of Monday, June 5, 2017 as saying: ‘The support by Governor Willie Obiano is unprecedented; it will enhance our operational capacity and aid our resolve to fight crime and criminality in all nooks and crannies of the State.’

This testimony is corroborated by the statement of another important voice. In an advertorial in Saturday Sun of August 8, 2015, Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Joseph Ahaneku said: ‘The Nnamdi Azikiwe University deeply appreciates the efforts of His Excellency, Chief Dr. Willie Obiano in ridding the State of crime for which the University has benefitted immensely.’
However, the task of containing crime is never completely removed. The socio – economic and personality factors that influence deviant social behaviour can only be mediated, not eradicated. Thus, in the face of new challenges, crime fighting efforts are to be continually reviewed for increased results.
The Anambra State Government had for long been faced with the dilemma of strict security imperatives and the social sentiments of governance. Security reports have consistently identified the easy get-away facility the motorcycle offers to criminals as a hurdle in crime fighting. The motorized bike not only meanders through narrow and difficult terrain that a four wheel vehicle would not manage, the detection of any specific description in the flow of traffic is a particularly tasking job.
It could easily be stripped of some parts and refitted in a new configuration that leads astray investigating eyes. Given its comparative cheap cost, a serious minded gang can afford to ditch the instruments after an operation. As we saw in Nwachukwu-Agbada’s familiar setting, all it takes for a fleeing criminal to melt into the society is a serviceable machine, sheer guts and some luck.
It is remarkable that in the face of these disturbing facts, the Anambra State Government had refrained from regulation of motorcycle transportation in the state even when every other state in the South-east had introduced one sort of prohibition or the other.

Much thought was given to the attendant economic implication for the citizens engaged in commercial motorcycle use. In consideration of the hardship expected to follow a ban on its use, the humane Willie Obiano administration chose to manage the continued operation of the system for some time more. This accommodation, this toleration certainly could not go on indefinitely. The price for the total retention of motorcycle transportation was too high to pay – at the risk of the security and well-being of the citizens as well as the state’s economic growth.

Consequently, the Anambra State Government in the second week of May 2018 reviewed the existing policy and issued notice of restriction on motorcycle operations in the state to come into effect in July 2018. The limitation on motorcycle riding will affect only Awka and Onitsha and their satellite communities – at least for now.
Clearly, there is no ban. Operators in the capital and commercial cities are free to relocate to other towns and continue their venture. The restriction promises to facilitate greater crime prevention, detection and control in the affected cities. And with these beachheads serving as a bulwark, managing the security challenges in other parts of the state where motorcycles are allowed to run, should be easier.
Aside security, there are also other serious problems associated with unregulated use of motorcycle in our societies. There is the road safety issue arising from their ubiquitous presence. The spectre of knocked down pedestrians is ever present. The motorcycle riders themselves have no protective shield in the event of collision with another bike or car.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola had cited the rising trend of orthopedic patients as reason for banning commercial motorcycles when he was Governor of Lagos State. The restriction plan further promises to free Awka and Onitsha from the congestion and pollution motorcycles have unleashed on the towns.
Afuba writes from Awka

Continue Reading

Editorial

As Anambra deals with illegal structure

Published

on

Ejike Anyaduba
Quite often development is not appreciated by all, especially where it appears not to affect everybody the same way. Appreciation varies as there are interests, and often provokes a whole gamut of human emotion. But ultimately it commends itself to the greater good.
It is well to remember this fact – no development, however disruptive it may seem, is not adapted to the general good. It may appear severe at the outset, but in the end its salutary effect is assured. Few examples where development was spurned as punitive, resisted with vehemence but eventually accepted with thankfulness may suffice. What is known today as Lekki phase 1 and 2 in the Lagos Island area of Lagos state – where the rich now retire in a pleasnt feeling of tiredness – was a reclaimed slum – a skid row. It was formerly Maroko, the rundown part of the state and a byword for bedlam and decay.But today the story has changed for good. Those who carried out the demolition as well as the resisters of the exercise can now look back with a feeling of smugness over a good effort. It took decisive effort from the government at the time to accomplish the task without which the state’s dream of a mega city would have come in vain and a good idea lost forever. Maroko was almost a detritus of environmental waste frequented by all manner of people, including those not bred to any manner of trade. Its reclamation was therefore very important to the state and she spared no effort to see it through.
There was also Oshodi another sprawling habitation in the state. Whether as a market or a habitation Oshodi did not cop a good image. Before it was reclaimed from its decided slant towards irredeemable slum the place evoked an eerie feeling in commuters and passers-by. Very few positive stories were told of it. Like Maroko its demolition was frowned at and resisted with vehemence. But today Oshodi is a tourist attraction. Visitors to the state are completely lost on its aesthetic transformation. Hardly does it bear any imprint of the old status. It can be argued that the decision to transform both places (Maroko and Oshodi) was not easy. It was seen as unpopular and resisted accordingly. But because the government was unwavering the idea was pursued with uncommon determination until the objective was achieved.
What happens in Anambra – the removal of illegal structures from the streets – is in no way different. The only difference perhaps is in scope. Whereas Lagos dealt with more expansive areas of habitation and market, Anambra is just slicing off stalls and compartments, obstructing existing structural plan of major streets in the state. She is yet to demolish squalid habitations littered in the cities of Onitsha, Awka and even Nnewi. But even as moderate as the exercise the task has not been easy. It has been met with subtle resistance. As was wont, the presumed victims do not take the exercise kindly. It is seen as punitive but that perhaps is a poor reading of the acts of government, particularly its development plan. But the exercise has doubtless come due, especially with the disruption going on everywhere in the state. Sadly, an allegation of insensitivity is being slapped on the government over the exercise. But that is not tenable for the simple reason that the same government has consistently protected the underclass. Previous efforts bear this out.
At the height of economic recession in the country the government had interevened to cushion the effect of taxation on residents in the state. It also employed workers when states were sacking theirs and pays salaries accordingly. It has offered employment opportunities to many, including people with disabilities and has encouraged them to aspire to postions hitherto denied them. More importantly, it has provided dosshouse for waifs and tramps and built sanatorium for the terminally ill.
It is difficult, if not impossible, for the removal of illegal structures in the state to hang a tag of insensitivity on the government. The latter is not expected to sit on its hands and watch the state continue in the awkward direction. Rather than condemnation, the government should be encouraged in its onerous task of dealing with the disorderliness that has long pervaded the state. Similar effort by the same government had helped to shore up the positive image of the state. The sanity at Upper Iweka/Bridgehead was not achieved in a snap. It came at a cost. Like Oshodi, it was once a confused bedlam. But it took concerted effort by the government to make it a worthy gateway to the state.
It may be hard for those who bear the brunt of the exercise to appreciate the intentions of the government – its effort to bequeath the state a progressive, healthy and enviromental-friendly state. But the responsibility ought to be a collective one and should elicit sacrifice accordingly. Unarguably, the exercise was conceived with the people in mind and caused from the outset of the Willie Obiano administration to follow a decided pattern. Against the rash of comments bandied in quarters, it was conceived for the general good of the state.
Recall that early in the life of the administration, a development board, Awka Capital Territory Development Authority (ACTDA) was set up to cater for the structural needs of the capital city. It was charged among other responsibilities to draw up a capital city that would favorably compete with Dubai, the economic capital of the United Arab Emirate. Without question, it was an enormous task that involved a lot of adjustment on existing structures and application of restraints on emerging new ones.
It is interesting to note that some of the affected structures – those opposed to the Board’s run of duty would have have been spared the bulldozers had wisdom prevailed. At least there was ample time to have them relocated to select areas. But that did not happen for obvious reasons. There were those who assumed the Board will suffer a sting in the tail. There were also others who would never anticipate a storm when the sea is calm. Notwithsatnding, it is believed that the desire to make Anambra the number state in Nigeria has a greater attraction for the people and will encourage them to sacrifice for the state.

Ejike Anyaduba
Wrote from Abatete via dumdile@yahoo.com

Continue Reading

Editorial

Agriculture Traders Seek Creation Of Agriculture Produce Market

Published

on

Traders in Nigeria are seeking the support of the federal government in creating a structured marketing arm for agricultural produce in the six geo-political zones of the country.

The concerned agriculture traders during a meeting with Nigeria’s minister of state for trade Aisha Abubakar said the nation can benefit more if the needed specialized markets and infrastructure is provided.
The traders and officials of the ministry of industry trade and investment agreed to work together in actualizing the dream of setting up the markets, which will help in marketing agricultural produce.

Continue Reading

Editorial

Curb social maladies amongst youths, Obiano charges monarchs

Published

on

By Kingsley Ezekwelu

The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano has called on the traditional rulers to rise to the challenge of curbing social vice of cultism ravaging our communities through reorientation and enlightenment programmes to remold the youth towards pursuing positive and meaningful goals.
The governor made the call during the opening ceremonies of the 2018 annual seminar of the Anambra State Traditional Rulers’ Council, held at their secretariat, Government House, Awka.
The seminar which was the 7th in the series, has as its theme, “Governor Obiano’s landslide electoral victory and the making of a united and greater Igbo nation”.
It was well attended by traditional rulers in the state and guests including the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; the Amanyanabo of Opobo, Dandison-Douglas Jaja among others. It featured paper presentations and interactive sessions.
While declaring the seminar open, Gov Obiano thanked the traditional rulers for the roles they played in making his 21/21 victory possible and sustaining peace in the State, as well as the tolerance and maturity they exhibited towards handling the Fulani herdsmen – farmers issue that had prevented a major crisis.
He disclosed that as the host for the recent Ohaneze Summit on Restructuring, what he has done was to forward the Ekwueme Square Declaration to his counterparts in other states and summon a meeting where the communique would be ratified and taken ownership of by the SouthEast governors.
He noted that his government is committed to developing the state but it cannot do it alone, calling on the traditional rulers to continue to support his administration’s vision for the transformation of the state.
The Chairman of the Council and traditional ruler of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe observed that Gov Obiano has made Anambra a model state in Nigeria across many areas including security, Agriculture, community development and politics, noting that destiny has designed it that he will lead the state and Ndigbo towards the desired destination.
According to him, the event was an opportunity to discuss on the journey which Ndigbo has started towards self-discovery and strategic positioning in the politics of Nigeria, using the Obiano electoral victory.
The President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo acknowledged that there has been sustained growth trajectory in Anambra State due to sustained visionary leaderships, thanking Gov Obiano for his immense contributions towards the Igbo cause.
In a keynote remark, the Chairman of the Planning Committee for the event and traditional ruler of Okpuno, Igwe Sunday Okafor expressed hope that the year’s seminar will yield answers to the socioeconomic challenges of Ndigbo and thanked Gov Obiano for keeping faith with the traditional rulers.
In a goodwill message, the Amanyanabo of Opobo, Dandison Douglas Jaja said the cordial relationship between the Governor and the traditional rulers as well as his community development initiatives are very laudable and should be emulated by other governors in the country.
He said with the way Anambra is going, it is sure to become a reference point in terms of development in the near future.
Governor Obiano was during the ceremony presented with a plaque by the Ohaneze Ndigbo leadership in appreciation of his decision to host her recently concluded summit on Restructuring of Nigeria.

Continue Reading

Editorial

Ohanaeze hails ‘Supreme Court judgment’ on Innoson

Published

on

By Ebere Agozie
The Socio-Cultural Organization of Igbos, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has hailed what it called the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in the case between Innoson Group of Companies and Guaranty Trust Bank.
Ohanaeze may be congratulating Innoson too soon as GTBank in a statement said the story of a Supreme Court judgment against it was false.
GTB described as mischievous and malicious the story circulating in the news and social media in respect of a purported directive by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make payments to one of its debtor Customers.
“The Bank’s Customers and the General Public are hereby kindly urged to disregard these false statements as nothing could be further from the truth. There was no directive or Order issued by the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Bank to make any payment to any of its debtor Customers.
“The Bank as a highly responsible corporate citizen will in accordance with its culture and tradition refrain from making comments about on-going litigation matters and will continue to focus on using legal means to recover its bad debts. It must be emphasised that the Bank remains undeterred in its recovery drive against recalcitrant debtors.
“We again reiterate that there is no iota of truth in the falsehood being peddled by desperate and mischievous elements and the General Public should disregard same in its entirety.”, the bank said.
Ohanaeze’s commendation to Innoson was made in a statement released in Abuja on Monday by Chief Emeka Attamah, Media Adviser to its President-General, Chief Nnia Nwodo.
In the statement, Nwodo said that by the judgment, the apex court refused to be used in an ethnic warfare to thwart Innoson of a judicial victory at the Court of Appeal.
“The judgment of the Supreme Court has shown that the judiciary remains the last bastion of hope for the common man.
“It is victory for democracy and an indication that there is still hope for the country.’’
He said that it was obvious that some vested interests were colluding with the EFCC to deny Innoson of his rights and to tarnish his well-earned reputation as a foremost manufacturer and investor in the country.
The president-general ascribed Innoson’s travails to the systematic harassment and intimidation of Igbo sons and daughters in the country due to ethnic sentiments.
He recalled the traumatic experiences of other Igbo sons, including Chief Cletus Ibeto and Chief Ifeanyi Uba, whose businesses were almost grounded by their detractors, but for their tenacity and shrewd business acumen.
“Ohanaeze commended the fighting spirit of Chief Innocent Chukwuma, the CEO of Innoson Group of Companies, for his doggedness and courage notwithstanding attempts to intimidate him with trumped-up criminal charges.
“No amount of intimidation or harassment will dampen the zeal of Ndigbo for a united Nigeria.
“It will only ginger them on in the fight for a restructured nation where every individual will be free to pursue his legitimate aspirations and businesses in a healthy, competitive atmosphere,’’ he said.
Nwodo called on the bank involved to obey the court order and pay the stipulated amount without delay to restore the confidence of the people in it.

Continue Reading

Editorial

United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Aid for People Affected by Conflict in Nigeria and Surrounding Countries

Published

on

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
June 7, 2018

The United States announces more than $112 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help people in Nigeria and surrounding countries in the Lake Chad region affected by the ongoing crisis.
Nearly a decade of conflict perpetuated by Boko Haram and its offshoot ISIS-West Africa has triggered a humanitarian crisis in the region. More than two million people remain uprooted by the violence, and nearly 11 million people need assistance to survive. The funding in today’s announcement will provide life-saving aid to hundreds of thousands of people, including emergency food, nutrition treatment, shelter, health care, safe drinking water, services for survivors of sexual violence, and support to children separated from their families.
The United States is the largest donor for the humanitarian response in the Lake Chad region, having provided nearly $761 million since Fiscal Year 2017. While the United States remains committed to helping the people affected by this conflict, a comprehensive political and security solution is ultimately the only way to end their suffering and bring peace to the region. The United States calls on other donors to step up to address the basic life-saving needs of those displaced and the communities that host them.

Continue Reading

Editorial

GTB To Pay Innoson’s N14Billion Judgment Debt Into An Interest Yielding Account, Says Supreme Court

Published

on

Today, 7th of June 2018, The Supreme Court struck out GTBank’s motion for stay of execution of the Enugu Court of Appeal Division’s order that GTBank pays over N6 Billion into an interest yielding account at the Court of Appeal. Innoson’s legal team which was led by Prof McCarthy Mbadugha ESQ told the Supreme Court that the Judgment debt which arose from excess and unlawful charges which GTB took from Innoson’s account now stood at over N14billion.

The Supreme Court decision follows GTBanks motion for stay of execution at the Supreme Court when the Court of Appeal Enugu Division ruled on 9th Dec, 2014 that the appellant (GTB) is hereby ordered to pay the sum of Five Billion, Nine Hundred and thirty Six Million, One Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand, Two Hundred and Nineteen Naira, One Kobo (N5,936,126,219.01k) to the Deputy Chief Register of the Court within 14 days from the date of ruling and which the Deputy Chief Register shall pay same into an interest yielding account in a reputable bank other than Diamond Bank or Mainstreet Bank Plc pending the determination of this appeal. The money together with whatever accrues thereon shall be paid to the party who wins the appeal.

GTBank not satisfied with the decision of the ruling of Court of Appeal, filled a motion for stay of execution at the Supreme Court, however Supreme Court today struck out GTB motion for stay of execution and maintained that it will not hear GTBank’s motion for stay of execution until it obeys the ruling of Court of Appeal to pay the said money into an interest yielding account.

By Supreme Court decision today, GTB is expected within 14 days to pay the sum of over N14Billion judgment debt to the Deputy Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal Enugu Division and which will now be paid into an interest yielding account in a reputable bank. The money together with whatever interest accrues thereon shall be paid to the party who wins the appeal.

Cornel Osigwe
Head Corporate Communications
Innoson Group

Continue Reading

Editorial

Cholera Outbreak Spreads in Nigeria

Published

on

Abuja : The cholera outbreak in Nigeria spread to new areas in Adamawa, northeast Nigeria, indicated today the state”s Ministry of Health information official, Mohammed Abubakar.

Abubakar said in addition to North Mubi and South Mubi counties, the pandemic is now hitting Maiha and Hong, and up to Sunday the total number of registered patients in the region amounted to 985, with 16 deaths.

In the case of Maiha and Hong, two patients each were reported and no deaths have been reported yet while in North Mubi 10 of the 427 affected have died, and in South Mubi six of the 554 reported.

The Ministry estimated the death rate from the outbreak at 1.6 percent, a dramatic reduction from the initial 17 percent when the epidemic began in May.

After releasing the figures, the official urged people to do more about personal and environmental hygiene to prevent a resurgence of the deadly disease.

Continue Reading

Editorial

Nigerians seeking refuge in Canada fleeing dangerous herdsmen, asylum seeker says

Published

on

MONTREAL—Eric, an asylum seeker from southern Nigeria, crossed illegally into Quebec last February from the United States after leaving Africa to escape the threat of armed herdsmen.
He says the herdsmen from the north of the country threaten southern farmers and sometimes murder them.

“A lot of killing has been going on,” he told The Canadian Press during a break from French-language classes he is taking in Montreal.
The 35-year-old didn’t want to use his real name out of fear it could negatively affect his hearing at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.
“The herdsmen go to the community and they can slaughter as many civilians as they want,” he said. “We don’t know who is sponsoring them and the government isn’t doing anything about it.”
Eric is one of 7,612 people who crossed illegally into the country during the first four months of the year, with 96 per cent of them entering Quebec, primarily through Roxham Road, a paved clearing at the forested border
In 2017, thousands of Haitians fled the United States for Montreal, but Nigerians make up a large number of would-be refugees crossing into Quebec this year, according to authorities and community organizers.
The increasing number of asylum-seekers from Nigeria — who mostly speak English instead of French — is helping to make immigration a top issue ahead of October’s provincial election.

Eric, who comes from Edo state, received a master’s degree in Britain and used to be a banker in Nigeria.

“The Nigeria country is very hostile,” Eric said, adding that someone who makes it there can make it anywhere. “That’s the nature of the country. We are very determined.”
Southern Nigerians are very ambitious, David said.
“We like to struggle, we like education and to bring up our children to have a better life than we did,” he said.
“We don’t like to beg.”

 

Continue Reading

Editorial

Nigeria Again : Web traffic from mobile phones, 2018.

Published

on

Nigeria: 81%
India: 79%
Indonesia: 72%
South Africa: 71%
Saudi: 64%
Turkey: 62%
China: 61%
South Korea: 47%
US: 41%
Mexico: 40%
UK: 38%
Germany: 37%
France: 34%
Brazil: 32%
Japan: 27%
Russia: 21%
(WeAreSocial)

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending